Trigger Warnings | Centre for Teaching Excellence
A trigger warning is a statement made prior to sharing potentially disturbing content. That content might include graphic references to topics such as #sexual_abuse, #self-harm, #violence, #eating_disorders, and so on, and can take the form of an #image, #video_clip, #audio_clip, or piece of #text. In an #academic_context, the #instructor delivers these messages in order to allow students to prepare emotionally for the content or to decide to forgo interacting with the content.
Proponents of trigger warnings contend that certain course content can impact the #wellbeing and #academic_performance of students who have experienced corresponding #traumas in their own lives. Such students might not yet be ready to confront a personal #trauma in an academic context. They choose to #avoid it now so that they can deal with it more effectively at a later date – perhaps after they have set up necessary #resources, #supports, or #counselling. Other students might indeed be ready to #confront a personal trauma in an academic context but will benefit from a #forewarning of certain topics so that they can brace themselves prior to (for example) participating in a #classroom discussion about it. Considered from this perspective, trigger warnings give students increased #autonomy over their learning, and are an affirmation that the instructor #cares about their wellbeing.
However, not everyone agrees that trigger warnings are #necessary or #helpful. For example, some fear that trigger warnings unnecessarily #insulate students from the often harsh #realities of the world with which academics need to engage. Others are concerned that trigger warnings establish a precedent of making instructors or universities legally #responsible for protecting students from #emotional_trauma. Still others argue that it is impossible to anticipate all the topics that might be potentially triggering for students.
Trigger warnings do not mean that students can exempt themselves from completing parts of the coursework. Ideally, a student who is genuinely concerned about being #re-traumatized by forthcoming course content would privately inform the instructor of this concern. The instructor would then accommodate the student by proposing #alternative_content or an alternative learning activity, as with an accommodation necessitated by a learning disability or physical disability.
The decision to preface potentially disturbing content with a trigger warning is ultimately up to the instructor. An instructor who does so might want to include in the course syllabus a preliminary statement (also known as a “#content_note”), such as the following:
Our classroom provides an open space for the critical and civil exchange of ideas. Some readings and other content in this course will include topics that some students may find offensive and/or traumatizing. I’ll aim to #forewarn students about potentially disturbing content and I ask all students to help to create an #atmosphere of #mutual_respect and #sensitivity.
Prior to introducing a potentially disturbing topic in class, an instructor might articulate a #verbal_trigger_warning such as the following:
Next class our discussion will probably touch on the sexual assault that is depicted in the second last chapter of The White Hotel. This content is disturbing, so I encourage you to prepare yourself emotionally beforehand. If you believe that you will find the discussion to be traumatizing, you may choose to not participate in the discussion or to leave the classroom. You will still, however, be responsible for material that you miss, so if you leave the room for a significant time, please arrange to get notes from another student or see me individually.
A version of the foregoing trigger warning might also preface written materials:
The following reading includes a discussion of the harsh treatment experienced by First Nations children in residential schools in the 1950s. This content is disturbing, so I encourage everyone to prepare themselves emotionally before proceeding. If you believe that the reading will be traumatizing for you, then you may choose to forgo it. You will still, however, be responsible for material that you miss, so please arrange to get notes from another student or see me individually.
Trigger warnings, of course, are not the only answer to disturbing content. Instructional #strategies such as the following can also help students approach challenging material:
– Give your students as much #advance_notice as possible about potentially disturbing content. A day’s notice might not be enough for a student to prepare emotionally, but two weeks might be.
– Try to “scaffold” a disturbing topic to students. For example, when beginning a history unit on the Holocaust, don’t start with graphic photographs from Auschwitz. Instead, begin by explaining the historical context, then verbally describe the conditions within the concentration camps, and then introduce the photographic record as needed. Whenever possible, allow students to progress through upsetting material at their own pace.
– Allow students to interact with disturbing material outside of class. A student might feel more vulnerable watching a documentary about sexual assault while in a classroom than in the security of his or her #home.
– Provide captions when using video materials: some content is easier to watch while reading captions than while listening to the audio.
– When necessary, provide written descriptions of graphic images as a substitute for the actual visual content.
– When disturbing content is under discussion, check in with your students from time to time: #ask them how they are doing, whether they need a #break, and so on. Let them know that you are aware that the material in question is emotionally challenging.
– Help your students understand the difference between emotional trauma and #intellectual_discomfort: the former is harmful, as is triggering it in the wrong context (such as in a classroom rather than in therapy); the latter is fundamental to a university education – it means our ideas are being challenged as we struggle to resolve cognitive dissonance.
Why Trigger Warnings Don’t Work
Fair warning labels at the beginning of movie and book reviews alert the reader that continuing may reveal critical plot points that spoil the story. The acronym NSFW alerts those reading emails or social media posts that the material is not suitable for work. The Motion Picture Association of America provides film ratings to advise about content so that moviegoers can make informed entertainment choices for themselves and their children.
Enter stage right: Trigger warning.
A trigger warning, most often found on #social_media and internet sites, alerts the reader that potentially upsetting information may follow. The words trigger warning are often followed by a subtitle such as *Trigger warning: This may be triggering to those who have struggled with _________. Fill in the blank. #Domestic_abuse. #Rape. #Body_image. #Needles. #Pregnancy.
Trigger warnings have become prevalent online since about 2012. Victim advocate Gayle Crabtree reports that they were in use as early as 1996 in chat rooms she moderated. “We used the words ‘trigger warning,’ ‘#tw,’ ‘#TW,’ and ‘trigger’ early on. …This meant the survivor could see the warning and then decide if she or he wanted to scroll down for the message or not.” Eventually, trigger warnings spread to social media sites including #Tumblr, #Twitter, and #Facebook.
The term seems to have originated from the use of the word “trigger” to indicate something that cues a #physiological_response, the way pollen may trigger an allergy attack. A trigger in a firearm is a lever that activates the sequence of firing a gun, so it is not surprising that the word was commandeered by those working in the field of #psychology to indicate objects and sensations that cause neurological firing in the brain, which in turn cause #feelings and #thoughts to occur.
Spoiler alerts allow us to enjoy the movie or book as it unfolds without being influenced by knowledge about what comes next. The NSFW label helps employees comply with workplace policies that prohibit viewing sexually explicit or profane material. Motion picture ratings enable viewers to select movies they are most likely to find entertaining. Trigger warnings, on the other hand, are “designed to prevent people who have an extremely strong and damaging emotional response… to certain subjects from encountering them unaware.”
Discussions about trigger warnings have made headlines in the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, the New Republic, and various other online and print publications. Erin Dean writes that a trigger “is not something that offends one, troubles one, or angers one; it is something that causes an extreme involuntary reaction in which the individual re-experiences past trauma.”
For those individuals, it is probably true that coming across material that reminds them of a traumatic event is going to be disturbing. Dean’s definition refers to involuntary fear and stress responses common in individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder characterized by intrusive memories, thoughts, or dreams; intense distress at cues that remind the individual of the event; and reactivity to situations, people, or objects that symbolize the event. PTSD can result from personal victimization, accidents, incarceration, natural disasters, or any unexpected injury or threat of injury or death. Research suggests that it results from a combination of genetic predisposition, fear conditioning, and neural and physiological responses that incorporate the body systems and immunological responses. Current theories suggest that PTSD represents “the failure to recover from the normal effects of trauma.” In other words, anyone would be adversely affected by trauma, but natural mechanisms for healing take place in the majority of individuals. The prevalence of PTSD ranges from 1.9 percent in Europe to 3.5 percent in the United States.
The notion that trigger warnings should be generalized to all social media sites, online journals, and discussion boards is erroneous.
Some discussions have asserted that because between one in four and one in five women have been sexually abused, trigger warnings are necessary to protect vast numbers of victims from being re-traumatized. However, research shows that the majority of trauma-exposed persons do not develop PTSD. This does not mean they aren’t affected by trauma, but that they do not develop clinically significant symptoms, distress, or impairment in daily functioning. The notion that trigger warnings should be generalized to all social media sites, online journals, and discussion boards is erroneous. Now some students are pushing for trigger warnings on college class syllabi and reading lists.
But wait, before people get all riled up, I’d like to say that yes, I have experienced trauma in my life.
I wore a skirt the first time George hit me. I know this because I remember scrunching my skirt around my waist and balancing in heels while I squatted over a hole in the concrete floor to take a piss. We were in Tijuana. The stench of excrement made my stomach queasy with too much tequila. I wanted to retch.
We returned to our hotel room. I slid out of my blouse and skirt. He stripped to nothing and lay on the double bed. He was drinking Rompope from the bottle, a kind of Mexican eggnog: strong, sweet, and marketed for its excellent spunk. It’s a thick yellow rum concoction with eggs, sugar, and almond side notes. George wanted to have sex. We bickered and argued as drunks sometimes do. I said something — I know this because I always said something — and he hit me. He grabbed me by the hair and hit me again. “We’re going dancing,” he said.
“I don’t feel like dancing — “
The world was tilting at an angle I didn’t recognize. The mathematician Matt Tweed writes that atoms are made up of almost completely empty space. To grasp the vast nothingness, he asks the reader to imagine a cat twirling a bumblebee on the end of a half-mile long string. That’s how much emptiness there is between the nucleus and the electron. There was more space than that between George and me. I remember thinking: I am in a foreign country. I don’t speak Spanish. I have no money. We went dancing.
Labeling a topic or theme is useless because of the way our brains work. The labels that we give trauma (assault, sexual abuse, rape) are not the primary source of triggers. Memories are, and not just memories, but very specific, insidious, and personally individualized details lodged in our brain at the time of the trauma encoded as memory. Details can include faces, places, sounds, smells, tastes, voices, body positions, time of day, or any other sensate qualities that were present during a traumatic incident.
If I see a particular shade of yellow or smell a sickly sweet rum drink, I’m reminded of my head being yanked by someone who held a handful of my hair in his fist. A forest green Plymouth Duster (the car we drove) will too. The word assault does not. The words domestic violence don’t either. The specificity of details seared in my mind invokes memory.
Last year a driver slammed into the back of my car on the freeway. The word tailgate is not a trigger. Nor is the word accident. The flash of another car suddenly encroaching in my rearview mirror is. In my mid-20s, I drove my younger sister (sobbing, wrapped in a bed sheet) to the hospital where two male officers explained they were going to pluck her pubic hair for a rape kit. When I see tweezers in a hospital, I flash back to that awful moment. For my sister, other things may be triggers: the moonlight shining on the edge of a knife. The shadow of a person back lit in a doorway. An Hispanic man’s accent. If we were going to insist on trigger warnings that work, they would need to look something like this:
Trigger warning: Rompope.
Trigger warning: a woman wrapped in a bed sheet.
Trigger warning: the blade of a knife.
The variability of human #perception and traumatic recall makes it impossible to provide the necessary specificity for trigger warnings to be effective. The nature of specificity is, in part, one reason that treatment for traumatic memories involves safely re-engaging with the images that populate the survivor’s memory of the event. According to Dr. Mark Beuger, an addiction psychiatrist at Deerfield Behavioral Health of Warren (PA), the goal of PTSD treatment is “to allow for processing of the traumatic experience without becoming so emotional that processing is impossible.” By creating a coherent narrative of the past event through telling and retelling the story to a clinician, survivors confront their fears and gain mastery over their thoughts and feelings.
If a survivor has had adequate clinical support, they could engage online with thoughts or ideas that previously had been avoided.
According to the National Center for Health, “#Avoidance is a maladaptive #control_strategy… resulting in maintenance of perceived current threat. In line with this, trauma-focused treatments stress the role of avoidance in the maintenance of PTSD. Prolonged exposure to safe but anxiety-provoking trauma-related stimuli is considered a treatment of choice for PTSD.” Avoidance involves distancing oneself from cues, reminders, or situations that remind one of the event that can result in increased #social_withdrawal. Trigger warnings increase social withdrawal, which contributes to feelings of #isolation. If a survivor who suffers from PTSD has had adequate clinical support, they could engage online with thoughts or ideas that previously had been avoided. The individual is in charge of each word he or she reads. At any time, one may close a book or click a screen shut on the computer. What is safer than that? Conversely, trigger warnings perpetuate avoidance. Because the intrusive memories and thoughts are internal, trigger warnings suggest, “Wait! Don’t go here. I need to protect you from yourself.”
The argument that trigger warnings help to protect those who have suffered trauma is false. Most people who have experienced trauma do not require preemptive protection. Some may argue that it would be kind to avoid causing others distress with upsetting language and images. But is it? Doesn’t it sometimes take facing the horrific images encountered in trauma to effect change in ourselves and in the world?
A few weeks ago, I came across a video about Boko Haram’s treatment of a kidnapped schoolgirl. The girl was blindfolded. A man was digging a hole in dry soil. It quickly became evident, as he ushered the girl into the hole, that this would not end well. I felt anxious as several men began shoveling soil in around her while she spoke to them in a language I could not understand. I considered clicking away as my unease and horror grew. But I also felt compelled to know what happened to this girl. In the 11-minute video, she is buried up to her neck.
All the while, she speaks to her captors, who eventually move out of the frame of the scene. Rocks begin pelting the girl’s head. One after the other strikes her as I stared, horrified, until finally, her head lay motionless at an angle that could only imply death. That video (now confirmed to be a stoning in Somalia rather than by Boko Haram) forever changed my level of concern about young girls kidnapped in other countries.
We are changed by what we #witness. Had the video contained a trigger warning about gruesome death, I would not have watched it. Weeks later, I would have been spared the rush of feelings I felt when a friend posted a photo of her daughter playfully buried by her brothers in the sand. I would have been spared knowing such horrors occur. But would the world be a better place for my not knowing? Knowledge helps us prioritize our responsibilities in the world. Don’t we want engaged, knowledgeable citizens striving for a better world?
Recently, the idea of trigger warnings has leapt the gulch between social media and academic settings. #Universities are dabbling with #policies that encourage professors to provide trigger warnings for their classes because of #complaints filed by students. Isn’t the syllabus warning enough? Can’t individual students be responsible for researching the class content and reading #materials before they enroll? One of the benefits of broad exposure to literature and art in education is Theory of Mind, the idea that human beings have the capacity to recognize and understand that other people have thoughts and desires that are different from one’s own. Do we want #higher_education to comprise solely literature and ideas that feel safe to everyone? Could we even agree on what that would be?
Art occurs at the intersection of experience and danger. It can be risky, subversive, and offensive. Literature encompasses ideas both repugnant and redemptive. News about very difficult subjects is worth sharing. As writers, don’t we want our readers to have the space to respond authentically to the story? As human beings, don’t we want others to understand that we can empathize without sharing the same points of view?
Trigger warnings fail to warn us of the very things that might cause us to remember our trauma. They insulate. They cause isolation. A trigger warning says, “Be careful. This might be too much for you.” It says, “I don’t trust you can handle it.” As a reader, that’s not a message I want to encounter. As a writer, that is not the message I want to convey.
Essay on why a professor is adding a trigger warning to his #syllabus
Trigger warnings in the classroom have been the subject of tremendous #debate in recent weeks, but it’s striking how little the discussion has contemplated what actual trigger warnings in actual classrooms might plausibly look like.
The debate began with demands for trigger warnings by student governments with no power to compel them and suggestions by #administrators (made and retracted) that #faculty consider them. From there the ball was picked up mostly by observers outside higher ed who presented various #arguments for and against, and by professors who repudiated the whole idea.
What we haven’t heard much of so far are the voices of professors who are sympathetic to the idea of such warnings talking about what they might look like and how they might operate.
As it turns out, I’m one of those professors, and I think that discussion is long overdue. I teach history at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, and starting this summer I’m going to be including a trigger warning in my syllabus.
I’d like to say a few things about why.
An Alternative Point of View
To start off, I think it’s important to be clear about what trigger warnings are, and what purpose they’re intended to serve. Such warnings are often framed — and not just by critics — as a “you may not want to read this” notice, one that’s directed specifically at survivors of trauma. But their actual #purpose is considerably broader.
Part of the confusion arises from the word “trigger” itself. Originating in the psychological literature, the #term can be misleading in a #non-clinical context, and indeed many people who favor such warnings prefer to call them “#content_warnings” for that reason. It’s not just trauma survivors who may be distracted or derailed by shocking or troubling material, after all. It’s any of us, and a significant part of the distraction comes not from the material itself but from the context in which it’s presented.
In the original cut of the 1933 version of the film “King Kong,” there was a scene (depicting an attack by a giant spider) that was so graphic that the director removed it before release. He took it out, it’s said, not because of concerns about excessive violence, but because the intensity of the scene ruined the movie — once you saw the sailors get eaten by the spider, the rest of the film passed by you in a haze.
A similar concern provides a big part of the impetus for content warnings. These warnings prepare the reader for what’s coming, so their #attention isn’t hijacked when it arrives. Even a pleasant surprise can be #distracting, and if the surprise is unpleasant the distraction will be that much more severe.
I write quite a bit online, and I hardly ever use content warnings myself. I respect the impulse to provide them, but in my experience a well-written title and lead paragraph can usually do the job more effectively and less obtrusively.
A classroom environment is different, though, for a few reasons. First, it’s a shared space — for the 75 minutes of the class session and the 15 weeks of the semester, we’re pretty much all #stuck with one another, and that fact imposes #interpersonal_obligations on us that don’t exist between writer and reader. Second, it’s an interactive space — it’s a #conversation, not a monologue, and I have a #responsibility to encourage that conversation as best I can. Finally, it’s an unpredictable space — a lot of my students have never previously encountered some of the material we cover in my classes, or haven’t encountered it in the way it’s taught at the college level, and don’t have any clear sense of what to expect.
For all these reasons, I’ve concluded that it would be sound #pedagogy for me to give my students notice about some of the #challenging_material we’ll be covering in class — material relating to racial and sexual oppression, for instance, and to ethnic and religious conflict — as well as some information about their rights and responsibilities in responding to it. Starting with the summer semester, as a result, I’ll be discussing these issues during the first class meeting and including a notice about them in the syllabus.
My current draft of that notice reads as follows:
Course Content Note
At times this semester we will be discussing historical events that may be disturbing, even traumatizing, to some students. If you ever feel the need to step outside during one of these discussions, either for a short time or for the rest of the class session, you may always do so without academic penalty. (You will, however, be responsible for any material you miss. If you do leave the room for a significant time, please make arrangements to get notes from another student or see me individually.)
If you ever wish to discuss your personal reactions to this material, either with the class or with me afterwards, I welcome such discussion as an appropriate part of our coursework.
That’s it. That’s my content warning. That’s all it is.
I should say as well that nothing in these two paragraphs represents a change in my teaching practice. I have always assumed that if a student steps out of the classroom they’ve got a good reason, and I don’t keep tabs on them when they do. If a student is made uncomfortable by something that happens in class, I’m always glad when they come talk to me about it — I’ve found we usually both learn something from such exchanges. And of course students are still responsible for mastering all the course material, just as they’ve always been.
So why the note, if everything in it reflects the rules of my classroom as they’ve always existed? Because, again, it’s my job as a professor to facilitate class discussion.
A few years ago one of my students came to talk to me after class, distraught. She was a student teacher in a New York City junior high school, working with a social studies teacher. The teacher was white, and almost all of his students were, like my student, black. That week, she said, one of the classes had arrived at the point in the semester given over to the discussion of slavery, and at the start of the class the teacher had gotten up, buried his nose in his notes, and started into the lecture without any introduction. The students were visibly upset by what they were hearing, but the teacher just kept going until the end of the period, at which point he finished the lecture, put down his papers, and sent them on to math class.
My student was appalled. She liked these kids, and she could see that they were hurting. They were angry, they were confused, and they had been given nothing to do with their #emotions. She asked me for advice, and I had very little to offer, but I left our meeting thinking that it would have been better for the teacher to have skipped that material entirely than to have taught it the way he did.
History is often ugly. History is often troubling. History is often heartbreaking. As a professor, I have an #obligation to my students to raise those difficult subjects, but I also have an obligation to raise them in a way that provokes a productive reckoning with the material.
And that reckoning can only take place if my students know that I understand that this material is not merely academic, that they are coming to it as whole people with a wide range of experiences, and that the journey we’re going on #together may at times be #painful.
It’s not coddling them to acknowledge that. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
Que faire d’une statue ? Le cas Lénine | Portfolios | Mediapart
When Memory is Confined : Politics of Commemoration on #Avenida_26, Bogotá
After more than five decades of conflict, the Colombian capital, Bogotá, is undergoing processes not just of regeneration, but also of commemoration. The decision to create spaces of memory along one particular road in the city, Avenida 26, has highlighted the stark differences between neighborhoods on either side of its congested lanes—and runs the risk of reinforcing existing segregation.
Bogotá, Colombia, is a socially divided city in a post-conflict country marked by clashing spatial and cultural cleavages. Over the last 20 years, institutional investments have concentrated on the renewal of the city center in order to boost Bogotá’s image. At the same time, the end of the Colombian conflict has led to the proliferation of a politics of memory in the city. The politics of memory, driven by the pedagogical imperative of “never again” (Bilbija and Payne 2011), expose the difficult task of imagining spaces as contemplative and as sites of reconciliation through their portrayal of past events in the conflict (Jelin 2002).
The street known as Avenida 26 (Figure 1)—at the center of my four-months-long fieldwork—is a key space for analysis of the city’s regeneration programs and politics of memory. The case of Avenida 26 demonstrates the tensions between urban development and memory-making. It reveals how institution-led production of “spaces of memory” (Huyssen 2003), as cultural spaces dedicated to commemoration and remembrance, also play a crucial role in the process of gentrification and the exclusionary dynamics in the city. Sites of national memory on Avenida 26 reflect strategic plans to build a protective barrier from urban violence and conflicts for the city’s middle class while at the same time further marginalizing low-income residents. These are the same residents who are often most directly touched by the conflict and for whom the politics of memory are officially dedicated.https://www.metropolitiques.eu/local/cache-vignettes/L600xH652/illu-torreviolante-1-1cc83.jpg?1586919937#.jpg
Segregated memory, between two Avenidas
“That [a museum] is like for kids who are studying […], it’s not for everyone, for example, for me […] why should I go to a museum, what for? All these museums, what for? […] For me, my museums are my flowers,” said Catalina, a flower seller, in a half-sarcastic, half-bitter tone. 
Catalina is referring to the future National Museum of Memory of Colombia, which is slated to open in 2021 as a space for reflection over the Colombian conflict.  The museum will be built on Avenida 26, where Catalina’s flower stand is located. As she speaks, her voice almost fades into the roar of traffic. The street is one of Bogotá’s main thoroughfares. It is nearly 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) long and as wide as a highway. It is one of the most congested streets in the city (Figure 2).https://www.metropolitiques.eu/local/cache-vignettes/L600xH448/illu-torreviolante-2-28188.jpg?1586919937#.jpg
Avenida 26 is central to Bogotá’s politics of memory. In 2012, the Center for Memory, Peace and Reconciliation, or CMPyR (Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliación; Figure 3), opened next to the city’s central cemetery, where florists and candle sellers have their stands. Public art on the street  portrays the Colombian conflict. In 2014, the municipality renamed the section of Avenida 26 that hosts these cultural initiatives Eje de la Paz y la Memoria, or “Axis of Peace and Memory.” In 2016, a new park, Parque del Renacimiento (“Park of the Rebirth”), was opened.
As a highly congested major thoroughfare, Avenida 26 does not correspond to conventional spaces of memory. Many institutional representatives define it as an empty space or a “blank slate.”
“It’s like a corridor: when you cross it in some way you are inhabiting a place that is not a place where one would stop to contemplate […] that is to say it is a non-place,” a member of IDARTES (a body which promotes public art initiatives on the streets of Bogotá) said.
The imaginary of Avenida 26 as a non-place among public officials reveals their uncomfortable awareness that Avenida 26 is an extremely segregated—and at times violent—place. The renamed section of the avenue—the “Eje de la Paz y la Memoria”—divides two very distinct neighborhoods: the middle-income neighborhood of Teusaquillo on one side, and the deprived and extremely precarious neighborhood of Santa Fe on the other. It would seem that the urban violence that characterizes the avenue would make it unsuitable for commemorative practices, yet officials have focused significant public resources in creating cultural institutions of public memory along this route.
“The side that is in Teusaquillo is cool, I have friends working with screen printing, who have a cultural center, there is the graffiti […]. In front of the cemetery [on the Santa Fe side], it’s very ugly, people steal and at night there are many homeless people […], I really prefer not to be there,” said Santiago, a skater and graffiti artist, capturing the geographical imagination of the street as a divided space.
In this context, the siting of the CMPyR and the future Museum of Memory, as well as ancillary museum initiatives, on Avenida 26 is not unintentional or strictly about memory. They represent selective investments on one side of the street in the middle-class neighborhood of Teusaquillo, and not on the Santa Fe side. The siting of these projects on Avenida 26 is not due to the relevance of this place for commemorative purposes, but instead acts as a revitalization strategy that encloses the more economically viable neighborhood through cultural projects as a means of shielding this neighborhood from the poverty and urban violence on the other side of Avenida 26. A member of the current CMPyR administration mentioned this selective use of the street when sharing his unease over being located to what he perceives as the “wrong” side of the street: “We work looking at that side [pointing to the Teusaquillo side], or we go to the mayor’s office, but we don’t go over there [the Santa Fe side]. […] One is always between two parallel worlds. Let’s say that, among ourselves, we know that on the other [Santa Fe] side there is the jungle.”https://www.metropolitiques.eu/local/cache-vignettes/L600xH379/illu-torreviolante-3-4c925.jpg?1586919937#.jpg
In this scenario, Avenida 26 acts as a true frontier between two neighborhoods that memory professionals deem to be incompatible. Indeed, cultural actors and memory professionals seem to identify two different Avenidas: one apt to welcome initiatives and spaces of memory; the other inaccessible due to urban violence.
Enclosed spaces, incompatible languages
The consequences of this enclosure are detrimental to the low-income communities on the Santa Fe side of the street. Gates and security guards around the CMPyR contribute to a significant securitization of this area. Candle and flower sellers on the Santa Fe side, who work informally, face increased policing, disrupting their business and limiting their ability to develop a regular clientele.
The marginalization and exclusion of these residents is even more evident symbolically. Interviewees on the Santa Fe side of the street are mostly uninformed of the activities of politics of memory—for example, they often confuse the CMPyR with a monument. They are also limited by a linguistic barrier. For example, memory, a common word in public art projects (Figure 4) and part of the title of the CMPyR—is an unfamiliar concept to many of these residents. The vocabulary employed by memory professionals reinforces a social and symbolic barrier among actors sharing the same space. This, in turn, contributes to the general indifference of many people in Santa Fe toward spaces of memory, and often results in explicit opposition to politics of memory on the street.
A kiosk owner near the Parque del Renacimiento expressed her rejection of the politics of memory through her concerns about the present and her children’s future, “I’m not interested in who is buried there, why he died, why it’s called memory […] I want my children to be well, [I want to know] what time my daughter gets home, because if she is late then what happened to her? […] How can I be interested in this bullshit?”https://www.metropolitiques.eu/local/cache-vignettes/L600xH338/illu-torreviolante-4-ec87a.jpg?1586919938#.jpg
Avenida 26 is not a blank slate. It is a “lived space” made of uses and practices that politics of memory dismiss (Lefebvre 1974; de Certeau 1990). These regeneration plans ignore residents’ use of space and relation to memory by relying on cultural tools and a language that excludes them from participation. Avenida 26 highlights the necessity to think of spaces of memory as urban spaces whose function extends beyond their commemorative role (Till 2012). This case demonstrates how the appropriation or rejection of spaces of memory is dependent on urban dynamics—social inequalities, spatial segregation, and access to resources—influencing both the appropriation of spaces of memory and the possibility that a sense of belonging among local actors may flourish (Palermo and Ponzini 2014).
Finally, the role played by the imperative of “never again” in gentrification and displacement is far from being an exclusively Colombian phenomenon. Across the globe, cities are increasingly taking a stance over episodes of the past at a national scale and publicly displaying it for collective engagement (as in post-apartheid Johannesburg, or in post-9/11 New York, among others). Academic and policymaking literature needs to deepen our understanding of the intricacy of these dynamics and the problematic cultural undertakings in such processes. If remembering is indeed a right as well as a duty, “walking down memory lane” should represent an exercise of citizenship and not the rationalization of social and spatial segregation.
#mémoire #Bogotá #Colombie #commémoration #mémoriel #divided_city #villes #géographie_urbaine #ségrégation #post-conflict #réconciliation #never_again #plus_jamais_ça #violence_urbaine #National_Museum_of_Memory_of_Colombia (CMPyR) #musée #contested_city #guerre_civile #non-lieu #Teusaquillo #Santa_Fe #violence_urbaine #art #frontières_urbaines #fractures_urbaines #gentrification #citoyenneté
In 2014, the municipality renamed the section of Avenida 26 that hosts these cultural initiatives #Eje_de_la_Paz_y_la_Memoria, or “Axis of Peace and Memory.” In 2016, a new park, #Parque_del_Renacimiento (“Park of the Rebirth”), was opened.
Comme mars a buugé et c estpas fini, que avril on se découvre pas d un fil, en Mai retour case départ non ?
Il memoriale voluto dal pescatore-eroe per ricordare la strage di Lampedusa
A Lampedusa è stato inaugurato il memoriale ideato da Vito Fiorino per le ricordare tutte le vittime della strage del 3 ottobre 2013, con il supporto dell’associazione #Gariwo. Durante l’inaugurazione l’abbraccio tra i superstiti e i pescatori di vite umane che quel giorno salvarono i superstiti del naufragio dove morirono 366 persone
Memorial In Thermi
29.09.19 Memorial In Thermi. 6 years ago was created the memorial for the dead at the EU borders. Fascists destroyed it twice. During ceremony we commemorated the dead of borders and hot spot system together with survivors and relatives.
Border Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos
#Border_Memorial: Frontera de los Muertos is an augmented reality public art project and memorial, dedicated to the thousands of migrant workers who have died along the U.S./Mexico border in recent years trying to cross the desert southwest in search of work and a better life.
Sorte de #cartographie_macabre...
Quelques photos prises le 08.05.2019:
Un monument impressionnant, très très imposant:
Et cette liste infinie de noms... avec cette inscription à gros caractères PRESENTE ("présent"):
Ne nous oubliez pas!
Non curiosità di vedere
ma proposito di ispirarvi
che diedero per la Patria
tutto il sangue
solo è degno di accostarsi
chi ha nel cuore la Patria
Avec cette introduction:
Se un giorno gli uomini taceranno.
Se l’ingratitudine ucciderà ogni ricordo
grideranno le pietre
Artist Shames Tourists Taking Inappropriate Selfies At The Holocaust Memorial Site In Berlin (NSFW) | DeMilked
Il semble qu’il reste à faire un travail de mémoire aussi à destination de celles et ceux qui rendent visite à des lieux de mémoire.
sraeli artist Shahak Shapira has seen enough of these disrespectful selfies taken in the absolute worst places for them. So he launched an art project called “Yolocaust” in hopes to shame the selfie-takers from the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin.
“Over the last years, I noticed an interesting phenomenon at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin: people were using it as a scenery for selfies. So I took those selfies and combined them with footage from Nazi extermination camps,” Shapira wrote. He gathered the selfies from the social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, and Grindr, and then combined them with the hard-to-watch real footage from concentration camps. The artist was shocked by just how distanced from the actual meaning of the monument its visitors were, which is illustrated with the comments, hashtags and “likes” that were posted with the selfies.
Bon et sinon mes propres images de ce genre de comportement à Auschwitz et Birkenau
Et sinon le photographe Ambroise Tézemas, exposé à Arles il y a deux ans, a produit des images remarquables de ce qu’il appelle le tourisme de la désolation :
La Tête haute, au cœur de la vallée de #la_Roya
C’est l’histoire d’une vallée magnifique, paisible, en bordure de l’Italie. Et puis un jour, surgit l’inattendu. Des dizaines, bientôt des centaines de migrants, font irruption sur la route, sur les chemins. Une fois retombés les feux de l’actualité, que reste-t-il de cette aventure extraordinaire qui voit l’engagement des uns, les doutes des autres, la désobéissance civile des plus motivés, la sourde hostilité des silencieux ? Oui, qu’en reste-t-il ? C’est là que commence ce ﬁlm.
René Dahon, habitant de la vallée:
« Ma famille pendant la guerre a été déportée, parce qu’ici c’était une #ligne_de_front : derrière c’était l’Italie et sur #Sospel c’était la ligne de front français. Entre les deux, en 1943-45, ça a été une espèce de couloir, un no man’s land. #Saorge a été dans ce couloir. Et ma famille a été déportée en Italie. Donc, moi l’idée de la solidarité, je l’ai tout connement connue sur un truc de rien du tout. Ma grand-mère m’a dit ’Quand on a marché de Saorge à Turin à pied, quand on a traversé certains villages du Piémont, il y a des gens qui ont ouvert leurs portes et qui ont donné quelque chose. Et moi j’ai ça d’idée de la solidarité. Moi j’ai l’idée que dans la vallée derrière, c’était des solidaires »
Toujours René Dahon:
« ça fait 40 ans que je suis dans l’associatif. Je me bagarre dans plein de domaines, mais on voulait bien que je sois gauchiste et que je défende le train ou la poste et les écoles, ça pose pas de problèmes, mais défendre du Black, c’est ça le problème. C’est drôle ! Alors qu’ils en ont jamais vu à Tendre. TEndre n’a jamais été envahi par les Noirs »
Suzel PRIO :
"La Roya terre d’accueil, la Roya solidaire c’est vraiment un cliché. Ça plait beaucoup ça, mais c’est beaucoup plus complexe que ça. Il y a aussi tous ces réflexes de #peur, des gens ici qui ne sont pas contents qu’on voit la Roya comme ça, qu’elle soit célèbre avec ces valeurs-là. Au début, il y avait des gens qui étaient vraiment sur l’humanitaire. Donc ce débat entre politique ou humanitaire, on l’a eu à plusieurs reprises. Certaines personnes souhaitant au début qu’on fasse que de l’#humanitaire et petit à petit d’autres personnes qui souhaitaient qu’on fasse que du #politique. Cela voulait dire, je ne sais pas... arrêter d’acheter des couvertures, arrêter de faire à manger et ne faire que des communiqués et des soirées... Au final, notre positionnement a été arrêté sur : ’C’est les deux. C’est simple, il faut les deux !’
What do images in public space do?
The Public Life of Images: Towards a Social Ecology of the Urban Gaze. The example of Bologna’s #Sacrario_dei_Partigiani [Full text]
#Bologne #partisans #Italie #WWII #deuxième_guerre_mondiale #seconde_guerre_mondiale
Kodak’s Colorama and the Construction of the Gaze in Public Space [Full text]
The political mission of contemporary urban statuary. Image, history and territorial identity in Montpellier (France) [Full text]
L’armée israélienne a bombardé aujourd’hui ce centre culture Al-Mishaal à Gaza
Video: Building a theater audience in Gaza | The Electronic Intifada
The Electronic Intifada 16 January 2018
Palestine’s Theater was founded in 2011 by director Edrees Taleb in Gaza City.
The troupe brings together 25 actors from all over the Strip, to rehearse and perform plays for the public.
There is no dedicated playhouse in Gaza, so the troupe rehearses and performs at the Said al-Mishal Establishment for Culture and Sciences in Gaza City.
The troupe faced obstacles in starting the group and generating interest in their plays.
Actress Hanan Madi said that not all families are encouraging, “but once they understand it and realize it’s reasonable, they no longer object.”
The project wasn’t successful from the outset, according to Taleb.
“But after I insisted that people attend, my audience grew. They come, pay tickets and try to enjoy a comedic performance to try to take their minds off of life in the Gaza Strip, from electricity cuts to other things.”
Video by Ruwaida Amer and Sanad Abu Latifa.
60 minil y a 60 minutes
Liste des #morts en #Méditerranée et dans la #Forteresse_Europe mise à jour (juin 2018)
#mourir_aux_frontières #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #décès #liste #UNITED_for_Intercultural_Action
cc @isskein @reka
It’s 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe’s migrant bodycount
The deaths do not just occur at sea – but in detention blocks, asylum units and even town centres. Here’s how the List is put together
Roma, al Pigneto i nomi dei migranti morti in mare diventa opera d’arte con #(S)ink
Prende il via in via del Pigneto, nel cuore dello storico quartiere romano il progetto dell’artista e performer Fabio Saccomanni, (S)ink, Opera urbana di denuncia alle leggi europee sulle migrazioni. Si tratta di un vero e proprio monumento funebre realizzato con i nomi delle 36.570 persone morte mentre tentavano di raggiungere l’Europa. Questa immensa lista di nomi resterà invisibile per la maggior parte del tempo, ma nei giorni di pioggia emergerà in tutto il suo potentissimo messaggio di memoria e celebrazione: i passanti, camminando sulla strada bagnata di pioggia, saranno costretti a calpestare quei nomi che, d’improvviso, diventeranno concreti e reali. Un progetto realizzato nell’ambito della Biennale MArteLive 2019 all’interno del Progetto Speciale Street Art for Rights, curato da Oriana Rizzuto e Giuseppe Casa, prodotto da Scuderie MArteLive in collaborazione con RomaBPA Mamma Roma e i suoi figli migliori, patrocinato dal V Municipio del Comune di Roma
#art #art_et_politique #Rome #mémoire #monument #mémoriel
Fermeture et démantèlement en 2002 (par M. Nicolas Sarkozy) du centre d’hébergement et d’accueil d’urgence humanitaire à Sangatte ; démantèlement en 2009 (par M. Nicolas Sarkozy) de la « jungle » de Calais ; lancement en 2002 de la politique anti-Roms (par M. Nicolas Sarkozy) avec piqûre de rappel en 2010 (effectuée par M. Nicolas Sarkozy). Revues de presse désespérantes, annonçant toutes les semaines les naufrages des bateaux des clandestins, leurs conditions de vie misérables, la peur... Autant d’événements qu’il est nécessaire de connaître et faire connaître. Mais comment ?
Entre les atrocités des #soldats #Japonais et celles des soldats #Américain : #Okinawa, « pire que la mort », l’#histoire racontée par les enfants qui ont survécu à la #bataille.
Between #Japanese and #American #soldiers’ atrocities : Okinawa, “worse than death” : the #history told by children that survived the #battle.
Kiku Nakayama was 16-years-old in 1945 when she was handed two grenades by a soldier from the Imperial Japanese Army. She was told to blow herself up if she came into contact with US troops.
“Japanese soldiers told us that the American forces would rape and burn alive any women they saw. I did not have the courage to pull the pin but many of my classmates did,” says Kiku, 89. “Every day I wonder why I survived and not them.”
Outnumbered by American forces, Japanese soldiers handed out grenades to civilians describing them as “benevolent gifts from the Emperor”. Other accounts detail them using civilians as human shields, decapitating babies whose cries threatened to give away secret hiding spots and stealing food meant for women and children.
Publié le 06/05/2018
Vu le 04/06/2018
Cet article de Prabhu Silvam construit à partir des #témoignages et des #mémoires de survivants, en plus d’envisager cette période avec de nouvelles informations, il nous permet d’envisager l’île de manière #géographique en tant que location #stratégique pour la #base américaine lorsqu’il s’agit de couper les vivres ou envahir le #Japon. De plus aujourd’hui, « historiquement et culturellement », l’#île est toujours considérée comme extérieure au Japon et son gouvernement : toujours « un peu trop près de Taïwan » et « un peu trop loin » du Japon qui laisse l’île dans une situation toujours critique :
This article made by Prabhu Silvam is constructed from the #testimonies and #memories of survivors, not only does it considers this time with new information, but it allows us to consider the island #geographically, as a #strategic location for the American base when it comes to cut supply lines or invade #Japan. Moreover, today, « historically and culturally », the #island is still considered as exterior to Japan and its government : always “a little too near Taiwan” and “a little too far from” Japan which leaves the island in a still as critical as before situation:
Despite ongoing protests, the island chain hosts 70 per cent of American bases on Japanese soil. Over the years, cases of rape, murder, drink-driving and aircraft crashes committed by US personnel have continuously caused friction between the locals and its rulers 930 miles away. Repeated calls on the Japanese government to remove the bases have fallen on deaf ears.
En #Espagne, la #Guerre_civile est l’objet de luttes mémorielles incessantes. Le film analyse le rôle des majorités politiques, des historiens et de la société civile dans ces affrontements autour de la #mémoire.
#espagne #guerre #guerre_d'espagne #mémoire #mémoriel #politique #histoire #société_civile #lutte #film #CHS #XXe_siècle #conflit #historiographie #transition #démocratie #dictature #IIe_république #république #franquisme #franco #histoire #historien
#Addis_Ababa_massacre memorial service – in pictures
The Addis Ababa massacre or #Graziani_massacre, in which 20,000 to 30,000 Ethiopians were killed by Italian occupying forces on 19 February 1937, is commemorated at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Ethiopian capital
Yekatit 12 (amharique : የካቲት ፲፪) ou monument du 12 Yekatit est un obélisque dressé au centre de la place du 12 Yekatit, dans la ville d’#Addis-Abeba, en Éthiopie.
Memorializing mass deaths at the border: two cases from Canberra (Australia) and Lampedusa (Italy)
In this paper, we compare two seemingly very similar instances in which individuals and organizations within the borders of the global North have memorialized the deaths of irregular migrants at sea: the #SIEV_X_memorial in Australia’s national capital Canberra, and the #Giardino_della_memoria (Garden of Remembrance) on the Italian island of Lampedusa. Unlike ephemeral manifestations of grief, potentially these memorials have effects that reach well beyond their creation. We relate the differences between the memorials to the contexts within which they were created: an immediate local response involving people directly affected by the disaster’s aftermath, on the one hand, and a delayed nation-wide response involving people removed from the deaths at sea, on the other. We also discuss the difference between a memorial that names and thereby individualizes victims, and one that does not, and between one that celebrates an alternative, hospitable society, and one that does not.
#mémoire #Italie #migrations #Australie #réfugiés #asile #mémoriels #monuments #Canberra #Lampedusa #morts #décès #mourir_aux_frontières #victimes
Emmett Till Historical Marker in Mississippi Destroyed By Vandals
A historical marker created in Mississippi to memorialize and educate the public about the 1955 kidnapping and lynching death of 14-year-old Emmett Till was destroyed by vandals who obliterated all visible information about the death that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.
Un mémorial en mémoire de #Nelson_Mandela à Genève qui nous fait honte (ou devrait nous encourager à agir)
Nous avons, à Genève, un fort épuré mémorial tout neuf (2015) en hommage à Nelson Mandela voulu par le Grand Conseil Genevois. Ces jours, pourtant, nous en avons honte. Et pourquoi en avons-nous honte ? Parce que Nelson Mandela a toujours répété : « Nous savons trop bien que notre liberté n’est pas complète sans la liberté des Palestiniens » Et alors que nous vénérons quotidiennement l’icône du prix Nobel (en oubliant le condamné à perpétuité pour ’terrorisme’), à ce jour 7000 palestinien-ne-s sont en prison, leur détention violant de règles de droit international, et plus de 1000 en sont au 40e jour de leur grève de la faim. Ces derniers risquent leurs vies pour dénoncer des abus de droits et dénis de justice, défendant des valeurs qui sont les nôtres : la liberté, le respect du droit, l’indépendance et la justice. Un mémorial de Mandela à Genève ? Sommes-nous vraiment dignes d’honorer la mémoire d’un tel homme si nous sommes incapables d’endosser ses combats ?
Croatie : les antifascistes et les associations de victimes boycottent les commémorations officielles de #Jasenovac
Ils manifesteront par leur absence. Pour la deuxième année consécutive, les commémorations officielles de l’insurrection du camp d’extermination oustachi de Jasenovac, en avril 1945, se feront sans les représentants des victimes serbes, juives et croates antifascistes, qui dénoncent le révisionnisme et la « néo-oustachisation » de la société. Un désaveu pour le Premier ministre « modéré » Andrej Plenković.